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David Plank recall, Ione, California (2012)
The effort to recall Plank was launched in response to Ione's shaky finances.
Path to the ballot
On October 6th, Deputy Registrar of Voters George Allen certified 518 signatures on the official Certificate to Recall Petition. The city council then had 14 days to order that a recall election be held. State laws require that recall elections must be held not less than 88 days, nor more than 125 days, after the city council's order. This means that a special recall election needed to be scheduled between January 28th and March 5th, 2012.
Ione resident Jim Nevin was the leader of the recall effort. The recall effort was also supported by former city councilmen Jim Ulm and Dan Sinclair.
At the city council meeting where a "notice of intent to recall" was served on Plank, Nevin said that his reasons for seeking the recall included:
- Plank's support for economic policies that have reduced the city's financial assets from $9 million in 2006 to $2.3 million in 2011.
- Plank's support for the former city manager's decisions, which included spending about $850,000 in legal fees from 2007-2010.
- The fact that Plank voted to support a contract extension for the police chief that could increase his pension by up to 38% without reviewing a cost analysis report.
- A time when Plank refused to let an Ione resident express his opinion at a city council meeting.
Plank told a local newspaper that the reasons given for the recall in the "notice of intent to recall" are "grossly exaggerated, were overcalculated and are totally inaccurate."
Jack Mitchell opposed the recall. He said, "Nevin’s charges [are] short on substance and long on assumption, untruths, inaccuracies, out-of-context statements and errors of omission."
Doug Hawkins opposed the recall. He said, "[The group supporting the recall] is not only mis-guided but have used un-truths and twisted financial numbers. When they speak at the city council meetings, they are rude, pushy and don’t even respect the rules of order, nor do they have any respect for others."
The recall election took place on February 28th, 2012. Plank was retained in office. Potential replacement candidates Dale Haney and James Ulm received 581 and 253 votes, respectively.
- Ledger Dispatch, "Ione mayor faces recall effort"
- Ledger Dispatch, "Ione recall effort moves forward in budget crisis"
- TSPN, "Ione voters defeat recall effort of Councilman David Plank," February 29, 2012 (dead link)
- Ledger-Dispatch, "Ione recall effort moves forward in budget crisis," October 21, 2011
- Ledger Dispatch, "Thoughts regarding the effort to recall Mayor David Plank," July 1, 2011
- Ledger Dispatch, "To the Citizens of Ione," August 19, 2011